West Beach man contests rape charge

West Beach man Neil Phillip Nelson has pleaded not guilty on two charges.
West Beach man Neil Phillip Nelson has pleaded not guilty on two charges.

West Beach man Neil Phillip Nelson has pleaded not guilty to cold case rape charges.

Mr Nelson, 42, entered not guilty pleas to aggravated sexual penetration without consent and deprivation of liberty on December 3, in Esperance Court before Magistrate Adam Hills-Wright.

Cold Case Serious Crime Squad detectives had arrested him on April 17, 2019, following an investigation into an alleged historic sexual assault on Friday, March 27, 1998.

A woman in her 20s was at a hotel on The Esplanade. Just after midnight, she left and started walking back to her accommodation.

Detectives allege a car pulled up to her and the two people in the car offered her a lift home, which she accepted.

She was allegedly driven to a secluded location off Twilight Beach Road.

Police allege Mr Nelson dragged her from the car and physically assaulted her.

Detectives further allege the accused forced her into nearby bushes and sexually assaulted her.

He will next appear in court in March 2020, for a trial listing hearing.